Arts / Theatre / Performing Arts / Music

Live Theatre

"Live Theatre finds and nurtures creative talent, uses theatre to unlock the potential of young people, and is recognised as a leader in establishing new models of business sustainability and growth."

Live Theatre is one of the UK’s leading producers and presenters of new plays and champions the art of writing for the stage.  It finds and nurtures creative talent, uses theatre to unlock the potential of young people, and is recognised as a leader in establishing new models of business sustainability and growth. 

The support of the Gillian Dickinson Trust has been an instrumental ingredient in Live Theatre’s success over a number of years.  The Trust’s most recent support for Live Works has proved invaluable in helping us lever investment from elsewhere for this final, and most ambitious, of four new enterprises  developed over the past 10 years by Live Theatre. 

Live Works creates a cultural hub, where work and leisure opportunities of the highest quality are combined.  It is designed to benefit young people, the communities of Newcastle, the fabric and economy of the City, and Live Theatre itself. It has three distinct elements:

- a children and young people’s writing centre that is the first of its kind in the north of England.  This hub for creative writing and mentoring for children and young people is designed to inspire young people, enable them to unleash their imagination and build their self-confidence, communication skills and self-respect.  It will enable Live Theatre to extend its programme of activities and specific projects designed for schools, community groups and the FE and HE sectors. Trained and supported by specialist educators and luminary writers, around 500 volunteers will work as mentors for around 2000 young people working in the centre each year

- a beautifully lit and landscaped public garden designed with an integral performance space programmed with appealing events attractive to visitors and the community and accessed through a colonnade from the Quayside and from Broad Chare

- providing new sustainable earned income for Live Theatre by the construction of  a new landmark building in a prime location on Newcastle’s Quayside.  The building offers Grade A office accommodation for Small and Medium size Enterprises.  This type and quality of accommodation, designed to support the growth of SME’s, is in short supply in the City.  The building will also provide increased visibility for Live Theatre on the busy Quayside thoroughfare.

The additional income streams from Live Works are all designed to sustain and grow Live Theatre’s work.  Specifically, more new writers will be nurtured, more plays put on stage, and more young people supported to increase their prospects in education and the workplace.  The latter is particularly vital as language and literacy are essential skills, of personal, social and economic importance in our communities. North East Local Enterprise Partnership (NELEP) has identified improving the skills base in the north east as one of its key economic priorities, fundamental to underpinning business creation, innovation and economic growth in the region.  Live Theatre’s work helps to address this need by using drama to unlock literacy in children and young people aged 6-25, encouraging them to explain their thinking, debate their ideas and read and write at a level which enables social and academic progress. 

Image credit: The Pitmen Painters by Lee Hall, photo copyright Keith Pattison, Live Youth Theatre Festival 2014 photo copyright Chris Auld